Written Answers. - EU Presidency.

Paul Kehoe


69 Mr. Kehoe asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the priorities for the incoming EU Presidency. [15027/02]

The normal practice is that the incoming Presidency makes its programme available in the final days of the outgoing Presidency. The incoming Danish Presidency intends to publish its priorities for the second half of the year tomorrow, 28 June. The Danish Minister for Europe, Mr. Bertel Haarder, visited Ireland on 18 June and delivered a public address at the Institute for European Affairs, in which he indicated priority areas which would be pursued during Denmark's Presidency. The overriding priority for the Danish Presidency is enlargement of the European Union. Denmark is committed to concluding a process which began ten years ago with the establishment of the Copenhagen criteria. Mr. Haarder noted in his speech at the IEA that Denmark was morally obliged to push enlargement through after the efforts of the new democracies to prepare themselves for membership. The Danish Presidency will also pursue the wider EU agenda, particularly in the areas of safety and security, sustainable development, food policies and food safety, and global responsibility. More information on the Danish Presidency, including its programme once it becomes available, can be obtained at the following Internet address: www.eu2002.dk.